The sentencing powers available to the court following a conviction for dangerous driving are extensive. Judges can impose sentences of imprisonment and lengthy periods of disqualification, with the requirement that drivers be re-tested once their disqualification ends and re-apply for their licence. The reason for this is that dangerous driving is considered to be the most serious non-fatal offence that a driver can commit, with cases potentially being heard in the Crown Court to reflect this.
However, in many cases it is difficult for the prosecution to demonstrate that a driver has been guilty of dangerous driving, as a fine line exists between this offence and the lesser charge of careless driving. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that drivers who are charged with dangerous driving access legal advice at the earliest possible stage to give themselves the best chance of effectively contesting this charge. The Criminal Defence Solicitors at Wilford Smith, with many years experience in defending road traffic cases, have the skills and expertise to identify any errors or omissions in the case against you, enabling us to plan your defence in the most effective way. Contact our specialist defence team today to find out how we can help.
What is dangerous driving?
It is a criminal offence for a mechanically propelled vehicle to be driven dangerously on a road or other public place. In order for a person to be convicted of dangerous driving, the prosecution must prove that they are guilty of driving in a manner that falls far below the standard expected of a competent driver. Additionally, it must be shown that it would be obvious to a careful and competent driver that the way in which the vehicle was being driven was dangerous.
A person can also be convicted of dangerous driving for reasons other than the way in which they drive. If you are found to be driving a vehicle that, to a careful and competent driver, would obviously be dangerous on the basis that it is in a state of disrepair, this will be sufficient to warrant a charge of dangerous driving. An example would be if a driver was involved in an accident and it was revealed that the brakes on their vehicle were defective. If the person knew this to be the case, but drove the vehicle regardless, they could be charged with dangerous driving.
How is evidence used in dangerous driving cases?
For a successful prosecution, the police must produce evidence to support the assertion that a person's driving fell far below the standard expected of a competent driver, and that it would be obvious to a competent and careful driver that the way in which the vehicle was being driven was dangerous. Due to the factual nature of the offence, prosecutors will normally rely on the evidence of other drivers and witnesses to an incident of dangerous driving.
If you have been charged with dangerous driving, the Criminal Defence Solicitors at Wilford Smith can call on expert evidence to prove that the events that have resulted in charges of dangerous driving are not factually correct, working ruthlessly to develop high-level strategies on your behalf through our skill, hard work and determination. If prosecution evidence is not challenged and you are convicted of dangerous driving, you will face a mandatory disqualification of at least 12 months.
Contact our Dangerous Driving Defence Solicitors in Sheffield and London Today
Wilford Smith's Criminal Defence Team, with specialist expertise in road traffic offences, takes pride in its reputation for high-quality representation. Our solicitors appear in court regularly, providing representation from the first hearing through to trial, dealing with a wide range of cases involving road traffic offences. We know how stressful contesting a charge of dangerous driving can be and will ensure that you are given clear, sympathetic and practical advice as part of our client-focused and highly personal service. Accessing quality legal advice from experienced road traffic solicitors as soon as possible provides you with much-needed reassurance at a difficult time, as well as giving you the best chance of avoiding a driving ban and other serious repercussions.
Our Criminal Defence Solicitors are based in Sheffield and London and serve clients throughout England and Wales. Contact us today on 01709 828 044 to find out how we can help.